By Anna Cunningham
BBC Asian Network ©

Twenty years ago, the Clichy estate in east London was virtually a no-go area for non-whites.

Now it's dominated by a non-white ethnic majority. As three Bangladeshi men are jailed for a brutal assault on a white man, what has changed and why?


Three men were jailed at the Old Bailey for the attack

John Payne was walking home with friends after a night out when he was brutally attacked, kicked and punched in the head and body, his attackers also wielding knives, machetes and metal bars.

Throughout the sustained assault, which left him partially paralysed, a gang of young Bangladeshis hurled racial abuse at John's group.

Nearly two years on, John still can't walk properly, suffers flashbacks and epileptic fits.

His attackers - Sodrul Islam, 23, Delwar Hussain, 21, and Mamoon Hussain, 22 - were jailed for 18 years at the Old Bailey on Friday.

On the face of it, John's ordeal is just another statistic of modern British crime.

But 20 years ago, in this grey labyrinth of concrete tower blocks and flat-roofed maisonettes, locals say it is likely the aggressors would have been white and the victim Bangladeshi.

Drugs issue

Ali was in his corner shop with Shah when I met them.

Ali says he loves the area now because all his friends and family live here - but he says that he lived in fear in the 80s when it was a "white" estate.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I used to be scared to cross the main road because the white boys used to set their dogs on us," he said.

One issue plays on both men's minds: drugs.

"I see on the street lots of people, they supply drugs round here," says Ali.

We often chose different routes, like bunking off school, experimenting with different types of drugs, drinking alcohol

Mohammed Shah says it is the gangs that cause the trouble: "It's all about someone living in estate 'x' and someone living in estate 'y'."

I'm easily spotted walking through the estate. A BMW, with blacked-out windows, drives by slowly, twice.

Mohammed and his friend Munna are walking home. They live nearby on the Ocean estate and laugh when asked what life is like here.

When they were 14, they were into everything their parents and the government would not want, says Mohammed.

"There weren't much facilities or anything around here. We often chose different routes, like bunking off school, experimenting with different types of drugs, drinking alcohol, for a Muslim everything that's against their religion we were bang on it," he explains.

Now they say they're trying to follow the right path, but fear nothing has changed for youngsters.

Cultural divide

A group of young primary schoolchildren are penned in by high wire fences in their playground, oblivious to the troubles outside.

Young people should be able to look up to somebody and say 'I want to be that person, I want to be him'

Salaman
Community centre manager

Further up the street two young Bangladeshi girls in headscarves say they'd never go out alone at night and talk of a cultural divide on the estate.

"Go around and see," they urge, refusing to give their names.

"You wouldn't see whites hanging around with blacks, you would always see that division there.

"You wouldn't see anyone mixing and if they are mixing it's to have a fight."

One white girl on her way to the bus stop seems shocked to be stopped and spoken to.

She says she doesn't enjoy living here. Yellow police signs are put outside her flat as often as once a fortnight, appealing for information about kidnappings and sexual assaults, she says.

"I don't like that at all. In fact I hate it," she says.

A postman pushes his mail trolley near the estate's only community centre, a small, nondescript single-storey building.

He says that as a black man he has not experienced trouble himself, but that his white colleagues on their rounds have been abused and sometimes attacked.

'Committing crime'

At the community centre, the manager, Salaman, says youngsters need more positive role models.

"Young people should be able to look up to somebody and say, 'I want to be that person, I want to be him,' not just say, 'I want to make a huge amount of money and do nothing with my life.'"

Sabina, a youth worker, says she's one of the lucky ones - she has a job.

At night the estate is a haven for young, jobless men who "do absolutely nothing all day and then at night, out of boredom they get up to no good and end up committing crime", she says.

She adds that it is what pushes them to such behaviour that worries her the most.

It is still not clear what pushed Sodrul Islam, Delawar Hussain and Mamoon Hussain to set upon John Payne.

What is clear is this: this was their estate and John and his friends were not welcome.

exfl.com Editors comment - its very obvious what "pushed" the above. They resent our triumphs, successes, and amazing quality of life, our beautiful woman and our freedoms and wealth. They will lash out at every opportunity, in the only way they know how. Vicious street crime and unprovoked gang attacks. Where they outnumber their victim 20 to 1, and still need to use axes and knives.

We have everything, they have nothing. Our very existence is an affront and constant reminder of what losers they are.

Their ancestry, their inbreeding, and backward family lives - They can't escape what they are; idle, physically repugnant and pathetic, cowardly, low IQ, third world losers, living in a very successful 1st world, white honkey country.

If we don't start repatriating large numbers of these genetic dead ends very soon, then the UK will no longer be 1st world, at some point in the next 30 years, just like Tower Hamlets now, the rest of the UK will be just like Bangladesh

Comment: editor@exfl.com